22 year old bipolar who is difficult to live with -- PART 2

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MrMike, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. MrMike

    MrMike Member

    Well, made it past the first part of this saga with my difficult child ... kicking him out, not letting him back in, waiting for the light bulb in his brain to somehow go on and "get it". Dealing with the report from a housemate that he was not doing well there. He has been ooth (out of the house) for about two weeks now. Last night he texted me asking if he can come home for a few days (which means he wants to come back home for good).

    Following the advice of my counselor, I did not reply. I am waiting for him to text again, to which I will not reply. The third time he texts, I am going to simply reply with the question ... "Why is it going to be any different this time <my difficult child's name>?". I will ask him to go off and think about that for awhile. I mean, until he really gets that right, what's the point of letting him come back home? It will just end with us kicking him out again, for a longer period of time than the previous time. I will tell him that too, that if he comes back before he is ready (i.e. before he gets it), when he gets kicked out again, he will have to wait longer the next time before he can "try again", as it's obvious that the last time he was ooth, it was not long enough for him to learn what he needed to learn.

    Of course, this is blind optimism on my part, thinking that I can "train" him to act differently. I suspect he will continue to think and act as he always has, not accepting responsibility for his bad behavior, and not understanding why we are demanding that he follow rules. But, this is all I've got to go on. This is my only weapon against him coming home and ruling our house again.

    Wish me luck, or pray for a miracle.

    I'll keep you posted on how this develops ...
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a good plan MrMike. I will certainly pray and wish you luck and hope that your son comes around.........it's very good that you are protecting your environment and your family, you've done a good job with your detachment skills.

    *Go have a good day today.........you are likely worrying and thinking about all of this WAY more then your son is........
  3. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Great plan, Mr. Mike. I think it sounds like it COULD work.

    Holding a good thought for you and for your son.

  4. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    It's hard to stay strong and they think they can wear us down. My difficult child never would respect the rules at my house. Even if he started out OK, very soon he would revert back to what he wanted regardless of the rest of the household.

    When my difficult child was constantly asking for money last year and threatened suicide and stealing if I didn't comply, I finally had enough and just ignored all contact.

    I didn't hear from him for almost a year, but he did find a job. It's sad with these children that we have to treat them in a manner that we question whether we are being cruel. But, that is what it takes for them to take care of themselves, and our sanity.

    (((prayers and blessings)))
  5. MrMike

    MrMike Member

    Yes, that is exactly how my difficult child is. He just keeps hammering away until you give in. He has always just done whatever he wants, without regard to anyone else's requests. He will do what you ask the first time, then revert back to whatever he wants to do. What is it about these kids who do this? Is it something in their brain that is damaged that prevents them from controlling their actions? I know they say that the frontal lobes are either not developed or damaged or something in kids like this, and this is the part of the brain which performs the executive functions (like decision making and controlling behavior). I guess this is why they act this way ?? Does this part of the brain ever develop or heal in these kids?
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    My story is slightly different, yet MUCH the same. My difficult child daughter is on disability. So, although my husband is the designated payee and using the money for her check to pay her rent (otherwise, believe me she would spend it and NOT have a roof over her head). I am very impressed with how steadfast you have been. Sadly, our daughter moves constantly for one reason or another. But we have detached about that and of course, this makes it easier on us. Anyway, she does come to stay with us overnight from time to time. Last night, she stayed at our house. She wasn't the neatest person in the world, but she was polite and ok. She was not rude and followed the rules we asked of her...which was come, go to sleep, clean up and leave first thing in the morning, which was no later than 8 a.m. She followed the rules. It took a long time to get to this point. It took years before she would stop calling us at the crack of dawn! We simply would NOT answer her calls. The rule is during the week, she can call at 7:30 a.m. (which I think is generous) and on Sat. and Sun., the earliest is 9 a.m. She can't call past 11 p.m. ever. We just don't answer her calls other times. She has lost that privilege. It took about two years of us NOT answering her calls and repeated reminders. So, it is possible to train them to act differently. Just tough and takes a l o n g time. It might be tough for him to get a job, BUT, one never knows unless they make a REAL effort. I think you are doing wonderfully!
  7. MrMike

    MrMike Member

    Thank you everyone who replied to my post. You guys are so supportive and positive, and I really appreciate it. It helps so much.

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MrMike, I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say, you are most welcome. We are all in this together, a rocky ride for sure.......... so helping each other stay afloat, stay calm, stay the course.......... is a win for all of us.

    *Hang in there, you really are doing a stellar job!
  9. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Mr. Mike, you are training yourself to act differently.

    And that is a weapon no one can take away from you.

  10. MrMike

    MrMike Member

    You are right Cedar. It is training myself, and its been a process, which I'm hoping will progress to the point where I feel that he can't hurt me anymore. When he's gone, we all relax and smile. When he's home, we are all walking on eggshells, fearful of the next outburst or verbal abuse. We shouldn't have to feel this way, should we.
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here's something else you might give him to think about. I kicked my oldest out at 19. For several years, she was always trying to find a way to "come back home." She would try to negotiate ways to get me to give in. At some point, a therapist said to me: "20something kids are supposed to want to move OUT of your house, not move IN. Tell her she has it backwards."

    It was like a lightbulb went off in *my* head. The therapist was right.. why on earth was my adult child wanting to come home?! It helped me to change my attitude, and lessened my guilt over saying "no." I honestly can't remember if I ever actually said that to Oldest, or what her response was, but I do know that it caused a shift in my thinking.

    What I also learned from that, was that it wasn't my difficult child that needed to have the lightbulb moments.. it was me. I had to stop doing things in hopes that she'd change her mind. I just needed to change my own.

    Hang in there. You're doing great.
  12. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I am liking these posts about retraining ourselves. And we are retraining ourselves too, to feel happy and comfortable with the decisions our difficult child kids require us to make. That's the hard part ~ not feeling like ogres when we try to stop changing things for the kids, whatever the cost to ourselves and our relationships. And I'm not talking just marital relationships, here. Friendships, the time and energy to explore our own curiosities ~ all that stuff.

    Going shopping without feeling guilty because our adult children haven't been working, or working enough, to provide for themselves and their families. (Okay. So that's a big issue, for me.)

    The paradigm shift here is realizing that what our adult kids are demanding is that we continue to be as focused on them as adults as we were when they were children. It's like they want us to enslave ourselves to whatever their adult issues are. The difference there being that we don't get to guide or punish them for what they are choosing to do. We certainly are suffering for the choices they are making, though.

    But really, they are adults, making choices, just like we have all had to make choices. It really stinks that it is that crazy, bottomless parental love that make us vulnerable to the enslavement.

    Again and again and again.

    Paradigm shift for me, anyway.

  13. janel

    janel New Member

    MrMike. I was googling my problem with my adult son and came across this website and your posts. I can so relate. You almost took the words out of my mouth. What's the expression? Misery loves company. I obviously felt for you and your wife but took comfort in the fact that there were other people out there feeling exactly like me. My son is 33, fine one day, awful the next. I never know what I'm going to come home to, a good day or a bad day. As you said, it's like walking on eggshells. It'll be fine one minute then something will set him off. He used to go out with friends, now is very isolated. Sometimes doesn't even get changed for days. He refuses to work, it is beneath him. He has no grip with Life as a Reality. Lives in his own world. Is so critical and condescending. I'm drained and can't go on like this either. I've offered that we go to counseling and he refuses. All of my ideas and efforts for improving his 'awful' life are met with distain. I'm at my wits end and think I will contact NAMI. I need some guidance for myself and my sanity.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Janel. If this is your first post, you may want to start your own thread. This is an older thread about somebody else and the best way to introduce yourself is to start a thread about your story all on it's own.
    Welcome to the board. So sorry you have to be here though.
  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have a good counselor!
    For years I wanted to bring my difficult child home...I was just sure if I could take care of him that he would "get it". He was in wilderness treatment (3 months) a therapeutic boarding school (15 months) rehab (1 month) and a half way house (supposed to be 6 months but he walked down the road after 10 days). They ALL told me he couldn't come home. They said the easiest place to fail is the place he is already in the habit of failing...same environment, same temptations, same habits, same "friends." And you know what? They were right. I just couldn't hear it.
    So hold strong, and keep to your plan. It is a good one.
  16. MrMike

    MrMike Member

    Would you guys believe I haven't been on this site for almost 3 years now! I wish I could say things with my son are different, but they are still pretty much the same. We eventually let him back in the house, and for awhile he has been ok. He hasn't broken anything in quite awhile, and hasn't been too abusive.

    But recently, he started getting that way again. He punched a hole in the wall out of anger, blew up at my wife and I, screaming at us an inch from our faces. To the point where my 18 year old daughter was in tears from the shock and horror of his blow up. I guess we were just trying to get thru each day from the last time I posted until now, but things really haven't changed much.

    We were relying on just calling the police whenever he acted out, but we didn't do that this time for some reason. He begged us not to cause he's afraid of going to a hospital like he did that other time. Still don't know what to do with him really. He won't get counseling, still wont work, still doesn do basic things like clean up after himself. He is 26 now. He really can't or won't do much for himself, except eat, go online, and sleep. We know for sure he has a mental illness, but he won't get help for it. He refused to get govt assistance also.

    Basically he has a major problem, but won't/can't admit it, and has refused to get help. We will be stuck with him the rest of our lives if we don't force the issue, which we must. Just waiting for the weather to warm up here in Massachusetts before we feel comfortable asking him to get help, get a job, or leave. Not sure how to best approach it thought, this time.

    I read a book that discusses the LEAP method of dealing with mentally ill people (Listen, Empathize, Agree, and Partner), which suggests a different way of trying to get the mentally ill person to do things they need to do but won't. Anybody hear of it or tried it ?? Anyway, just wanted to say hello again after such a long time.

    by the way, I think my problem with dealing with him is that I keep thinking I can rehabilitate him somehow, but I really cannot. He has to do that ...